In a city that pays its bills with technological development and creates culture, content and spaces with interesting interpretation of American values, San Francisco is always experimenting with identity.
You can walk through downtown as the fairy lights illuminate the tidy, ambitious faces which fill the CBD, take a left onto post street then straight to polk and you’ll have a number of dive bars waiting for your cash. With another left your on Jones street as the homelessness rate rises a potential 60% where people do as they please, say as they please and sleep where they please – you might need a police report after it but you’ll be glad you went here. It’s a shout out to freedom and you should wish to stop and talk about this with someone on your way. This was my first experience with the tenderloin at least.
I found this to be pretty interesting expression of the American paradox, where capitalism and freedom are valued so high that you can’t help but appreciate the diversity of the city which oozes out of the steamy pot holes. However- as a well supported youth of Australia I was continually questioning the lack of social welfare systems as I saw like youth living in clusters on the streets either in a bid to freedom or as a byproduct of it – I was not sure.
‘Souls of San Francisco’ is a blog you should check out to marvel in all the unique bodies strolling the city from the hipster mission district, hippie haight and even the straighty 180 financial district. From my gal pals over here we’ve already had a new perm, radical hair color changes, bangs and couple of trips to the piercing palace. Its a mission to be as cool as these SF souls obviously but swag comes a little cheaper here so pop them tags..
I eventually found a place in Sunset after a long battle with the real estate market that I can only thank web 2.0 for as it repays the city with high rise development, a healthy, creative culture and generally active place to live in. Rent is relentless but your in SF so your winning. Once I found a humble abode, swag, experimentation, 40s, gig guides, the mission and a healthy dose of Dutch friends got me on my way to a successful time in SF.
Fast track friendships are essential. There are no prejudgments with the people you meet on exchange; I don’t know your town, school, parents, education and I don’t care. You befriend people based on the goood vibrations and a similar mindset.. the tie died pants that you just haven’t seen pulled off since you went to Byron bay in your teens– I know I found my best friend this way. Within a month I had a group of friends who can sleep on each others floors when too hopeless to make it home, act the perfect wing man, stay awake in the passenger seat as you drive 11 hours in one night from Nevada to the bay and still attend mandatory Monday at school with a bagel and a healthy upload onto instagram.
The city itself is really very beautiful. If you don’t mind fog, and crave a diverse atmosphere of a somewhat bustling harry potter diagon alley, winter beach or misty green mountains then this probably is a city for you. For over 150 years, San Francisco has been a magnet for fortune-seekers, immigrants, artists and poets so there is clearly both an aesthetic and psychological attraction to this city.
Most importantly it has been the Americans we’ve met that lead us, the blind into a light of SF. My linguistics aren’t up to scratch in order explain the appreciation for these guys but thank you. Most of my mates made here are not actually at the university of study in our city, which is a big factor in studying at SF (unlike a lot of American university exchanges, SFSU is a commuter school so the attachments you make really lie within the city walls as opposed to the school ones). The difference between my first trip to LA and my second trip with friends who lived there was a god sent. Being around beautiful SF souls makes everything a 10/10.